In Health Questions today in the House of Commons, I asked how we can encourage young medical graduates to make a career in General Practice (as opposed to becoming Hospital Doctors and consultants). The transcript follows below.
Michael Fabricant: Q14: What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on increasing the number of university places for medical students; and if he will make a statement
Minister of State. Will Quince: The Department has commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan. This plan will help ensure we have the right numbers of staff, including doctors with the right skills to deliver high quality services fit for the future. This plan will be independently verified.
We have funded 1,500 more medical school places in England and opened 5 new medical schools in Sunderland, Lancashire, Chelmsford, Lincoln and Canterbury, and there are record numbers of medical students in training.
Michael Fabricant: My Hon Friend will know that it takes 5 or 6 gruelling years to get a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree, or Doctor of Medicine in Scotland. But many students having then graduated think that they would prefer the more structured development of their lives by working as hospital doctors. What can we do to encourage young graduates to go into general practice?
Will Quince: We have record numbers going into general practice; this is the remit of the member for Harborough.
Part of the plan is to make it more attractive; through practice improvements, through things like cloud-based telephony things like the ARRS Scheme, the 24,000 extra staff in primary care, developing multi-function staff, so people can develop their skills – have specialism but still practice as a GP too – increasing the use of pharmacy, movement more towards continuity of care, and of course the new GP contract for 2024/25.